With so much talk around the unveiling of VMware NSX and Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure, network virtualization is certainly having it’s day in the enterprise sun, and rightfully so. The introduction of application-based policy into the physical and virtual networks that support enterprise workloads is an exciting thing.
But networks aren’t the only part of the infrastructure that is benefiting from the focus that “software defined” is bringing to the architectural and operational disciplines used in the enterprise. As we see the evolution of the abstraction point between the control and data planes in every part of the infrastructure, the tools and processes needed to manage things on a day-to-day basis are evolving too. VCE and VMware have done a significant amount of joint development work, and together we are excited to examine the possibilities where a fully API-accessible, multi-vendor converged infrastructure overlaps with market-leading management, monitoring, analytics, orchestration and logging tools.
The key to all of the integration that VCE does with VMware and all of our ITSM partners is the VCE Vision Intelligent Operations software. Being able to provide a holistic API that provides visibility and context to all of the individual components within a Vblock, and using that collected dataset to intelligently inform any and all upstream tools is a key part of our strategy. As we transition from inbound visibility to coordinated management, discovery and compliance, that API layer will only become more and more valuable. With so much of the cost of a hardware platform contained in the day-to-day management and operations, anything that can provide that context and programmatic access to individual hardware components is going to be valuable, and the VCE Vision API and developer community will continue VCE’s commitment to being more than the sum of the components alone.
There are a number of places where this joint development and strategic alignment are visible, but none more so than in the VCE Vision™ Plugin for VMware vCenter. Across enterprises of all sizes, vCenter sits at the core of the day-to-day operation of a virtualized infrastructure. As such, it’s a perfect place to be able to integrate the visibility and status of the infrastructure itself into the traditional virtualization objects like Data Centers, Clusters and Resource Pools. Giving native access to the individual element managers is valuable, but being able to leverage the VCE Vision™ System Library for Vblock Systems to give vCenter administrators access to the Discovery, Identification, Validation, Health and Logging functions native to the VCE Vision software provides more of the visibility needed in today’s enterprise.
On the trending and analytics side, the VCE Vision™ Adapter for VMware vCenter Operations Manager has brought the same context and hardware visibility into another fantastic tool. With VCE being able to OEM vCenter Operations Manager and include the plugin, which again leverages the VCE Vision API directly, customers can take something which was perfect for infrastructure virtualized with vSphere and make it even more operationally valuable. Earlier in the month, VMware announced VMware vCenter Log Insight. Log Insight provides real-time insights from log data produced by applications, physical hardware and virtualized infrastructure helping to minimize troubleshooting times as well as improve operational efficiency. VMware announced the availability of “content packs” to capture logs from a number of products, including VCE Vision Intelligent Operations software, which is available directly from the VMware Solution Exchange marketplace. Interestingly, the value of the VCE Vision API is readily apparent here as well, as VCE is the only company out of the nine released at launch that does more than plug into a single element manager. While being able to integrate one component at a time is a good first step, being able to address the entire infrastructure that is supporting your workloads at once is far more efficient and valuable.
Finally, we continue to see more and more customers adopting vCloud Director as their customer provisioning portal of choice, and VCE continues to help customers and VMware both understand the strengths and potential of that product. Our document Designing VMware vCloud Director On Vblock™ Systems continues to help provide best practices and architectural guidelines for how to create an enterprise-class ITaaS implementation.
As VMware’s vision of SDDC becomes clearer, the emphasis on tools and operational process to maximize the return on this fundamental change will become stronger and stronger. VCE and VMware are committed to leading this charge together.